UK’s biggest rock/metal festival is back for 2019, here is our look at some of the best bands you should be checking out over the weekend taking place on the 14-16th June 2019, there is plenty of choice as always!
Friday 14th June
Classic English hard rockers Whitesnake are still going strong after nearly four decades and their new album ‘Flesh & Blood’ is testament to this with new fan favourites like steamy rock anthems like ‘Shut Up & Kiss Me’, they will go down a treat in the festival setting with everyone singing along and having a great time. The band put everything into this album and it shows, you don’t want to miss their big comeback!
Swedish progressive metallers Opeth offer something for everyone ranging from serene moments to deadly lethal blows with their changeable crushing and beautiful sound. Their latest album ‘Sorceress’ got this balance perfectly. Vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt’s transition from beautiful clean vocals to fierce growls has to be witnessed to be truly believed. Having just announced their new album ‘In Cauda Venenum’ which is to be released later this year, surely they will grace the crowds with some new upcoming material from this.
Icon For Hire is an alternative rock duo. They landed success quickly with their hard-hitting anthemic and edgy debut in 2011 titled ‘Scripted’, since then they have undergone some line-up, label and sound changes and now have a more mainstream alt sound. The duo are very talented and I’m sure at their Download festival debut they will playing a mix of their old most popular songs like ‘Make A Move’ and ‘Get Well’ and new songs. Their latest album ‘Still Can’t Kill Us’ is fully acoustic and this is where the band really shine with their well-structured and delivered acoustics and you get to hear Ariel Bloomer’s full vocal capacity and vulnerability, you will be drawn in once you hear and I’m sure they will be making some new fans at their festival debut at Download.
JINJER will be tearing up the Dogtooth stage Friday. Ukraine’s most ferocious metal act are making waves and they have just announced they are working on their highly anticipated album which is set for release via Napalm Records. Their sets are mighty, energetic and unforgettable especially with vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk at the helm who is terrifyingly brilliant. To see how truly talented they are, catch their set and if you want an idea of what to expect check out their live session of their popular song ‘Pisces’ which has had over 21 million views and will surprise you.
Saturday 15th June
American heavy metallers Slipknot are deservedly headlining Saturday, and what a set it will be. Their sets are energetic, insane and powerful and visually brilliant especially with the bands characteristic masks and suits and being headliners their visuals and productions will be mighty and most likely a lot of fire will be involved to accompany their demonic infectious sounds. Having a longer set they will have time to play tracks from their impressive back catalogue from the early days such as classic ‘Left Behind’ and ‘Wait And Bleed’ to the chaotic ‘Duality’, you can guarantee carnage whatever they decide to play. Their upcoming sixth album ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ will be unleashed August 9th this year and to promote this they will no doubt treat the masses to their new singles ‘All Out Life’ and ‘Unsainted’ which showcase great things from the new album and they will be pulling out all the stops to ensure they deliver a deadly and unforgettable set, it’s hard not to lose your shit when they start playing!
American metallers Trivium from Florida know how to create crushing and anthemic metal anthems galore and they deliver them effortlessly and in a commanding and powerful way, they are not likely to disappoint on their main stage set on Saturday where they will surely play a diverse mix of songs covering their eight albums. Their latest 2017 release ‘The Sin And The Sentence’ may be at the forefront and I’m sure they will grace fans with the previously unreleased new song from this titled ‘Drowning In The Sound’, if we are lucky we may even get to hear their killer cover version of Type O Negative’s ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Me’ which is well-crafted and will go down well.
Skindred are almost a necessity for any rock/metal festival with their dancing party vibes and irresistible and seriously catchy reggae metal, they have been commended and are well-known for their memorable and fun live sets something they pride themselves on. It is hard not to groove along and rock out to their songs so expect it to be a high energy and loud set with everyone singing along to their anthems such as ‘Nobody’, ‘Ratrace’ and ‘Pressure’.
Halestorm are definitely a band to check out with their unstoppable hard rock anthems the crowds will be singing along and rocking out to. Their latest album ‘Vicious’ is no exception and features some cracking hits such as the title track and ‘Uncomfortable’ which will be immense to see live. Izzy Hale has an exceptional and diverse vocal range which makes them stand out further and you will be left in awe at how impressive her capabilities are.
New supergroup duo Simple Creatures formed of Mark Hoppus of Blink 182 and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low are headlining the Avalanche Stage with their unusual new wave/synth sound which is fun and different, perfect for a festival. They released their debut EP ‘Strange Love’ March this year and revealed that they have a second EP and debut album ready to release in the near future, so this means the chances are high that they will share some of this unreleased material, as their headline set is the perfect opportunity for this.
Sunday 16th June
Sunday headliners Tool have always been a bit of an enigma, so much so that even trying to describe their sound is difficult so they are often stated as style-transcending which seems appropriate. All of which only adds to the excitement and intrigue for their headline set, especially as they are known for their complex unusual visual arts and live sets. The band’s currently untitled fifth studio album will be their first in thirteen years and will be released August 30th 2019 so they are bound to debut some new offerings. As the band are making their return and with all the mystery surrounding them, this is one headline set that everyone should witness and will most likely be unlike anything you have ever seen, what a way to end the festival.
Swedish melodic death metallers Amon Amarth deliver striking and epic sets, I was lucky enough to catch their mighty set last time they played Download festival and although it was raining and miserable weather, no one cared and we were swept up in their powerful set which had everyone raising their devils horns and fists up to the sky for their biggest hits such as ‘Guardians Of Asgaard’! They have recently released their eleventh new album ‘Berserker’ which features massive metal anthems such as ‘Crack The Sky’ and ‘Raven’s Flight’. Everyone will surely be intoxicating themselves with alcohol along to their infectious Viking metal which is perfect for the festival setting and great fun to let loose to.
American metalcore act Underoath disbanded in 2013 and then resurfaced luckily in 2015, then last year in 2018 they unleashed their first album in eight years titled ‘Erase Me’ which was well received by all marking their anticipated return. Hopefully, their set will be filled with old hits and new alike, let’s hope they are here to stay, so make sure you catch them.
Thrash metal masters Slayer are known as one of the ‘big four’ metal bands, putting themselves on the radar with their characteristic deadly fast aggressive sound since 1980, every metalhead in the world knows who Slayer is. The headline set on the Zippo stage on the final day of the festival marks a highly momentous occasion as it will sadly be their final ever UK show, so this is literally the last time you can see them in the UK, what more reason could you need for going to their set! They have bought us the ferocious and worldwide known metal classic hits ‘Raining Blood’ and ‘Angel Of Death’ which still send the crowds wild, so imagine what their final set will bring. Download festival is the perfect farewell for the metal veterans.
Progressive metal titans Dream Theater are some of the most skilled metal musicians you will ever see and to watch them perform their technical masterpieces is something to behold! Their new album ‘Distance Over Time’ is exceptional and adds to their impressive catalogue of progressive metal at its finest, they are bound to treat festival goers to new fan favourite offerings such as ‘Fall Into The Light’ and ‘Untethered Angel’ so make sure you are there when they do, you seriously will regret it if not.
Over on the smaller Dogtooth stage Japanese post-hardcore act Coldrain are worth checking out with their hard-hitting infectious sounds, just listen to their popular song ‘Gone’ which will immediately pull you in and is perfect for the live setting. They recently announced that they will unleash a new album later this year, so here’s hoping they debut some of this new material to festival goers.
So there you go, these are just a handful of bands to check out! Enjoy festival goers!
To find out more about Download Festival UK and get tickets visit their website: